Written By: Destiny Ingram
Photos By: Coley Birchfield and Madison Strickland
Golden Eagle Media
One of the country’s top youth motivational speakers visited Jacksonville High School Thursday to speak to the students about what it truly means to maximize their dreams. The school’s FOCUS club invited Dr. Laymon Hicks to speak in two assemblies; one for grades 7-9 and one for grades 10-12. The assemblies wrapped up Red Ribbon Week activities.
For more than an hour, Hicks managed to captivate the students with his words of encouragement as they laughed and even teared up over his message about overcoming life’s obstacles. Hicks’ speeches are not the normal motivational talks teenagers get about how to obtain a job and live a happy life; instead, he touches on the real issues of growing up such as stress, depression, bullying, and achieving goals.
Hicks shared his story about the “frustrations, flops, and faults” that he encountered growing up. At one point, Hicks pulled out a pair of shoes that he wore while campaigning and eventually winning his bid for the President of his student body at Florida State University. The take away from this example was that hard work and perseverance pay off in the end.
Hicks is also an author who has published two books. At the conclusion of each assembly, he told students that they would each receive a copy of his latest book ’N Laymon’s Terms, Words of Wisdom. JHS Seniors were able to speak one-on-one with Hicks and get him to sign their book. During lunch, all students had an opportunity to meet Hicks and he was there to provide an ear for their stories and questions.
Jacksonville High School students and faculty said that they were grateful to have this spectacular motivational speaker on campus.